A brief meeting with Sergio Leone

My favorite composer of movie music, Ennio Morricone, is 84 years old today. I only met him through his music, on records or in movies. Many of these marvellous movies were made by Sergio Leone, the italian expert of the spaghetti western genre. My hero. I had the pleasure of meeting Sergio Leone in 1988, when he was head of the jury at the Venice Film Festival. Just a short meeting, just a few photos, but something I remember. Leone died in April 1989, only 60 years old. But his movies are still there, like my favorite, Once Upon a Time in the West (C’Era una Volta il West).

Among the others in the jury that year are Lina Wärtmuller (white glasses), who in 1976 became the first woman ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for directing, the swedish actress Lena Olin (The unbearable lightness of being), and Harry Dean Stanton (Paris, Texas by Wim Wenders), who I had a breakfast-interview with that year, but don’t ask me what he said, or what we ate, I probably ate nothing. There are more photos in my web gallery from La Biennale di Venezia.

And some Morricone music and Leone pictures (cinematographer: Tonino Delli Colli):


30 thoughts on “A brief meeting with Sergio Leone

  1. awesome, Ennio Morricone, I use his music for freestyle all of the time, it’s awesome. Talking film would be fun with you, I spent 13 years in Park City and grew up with the beginning of the Sundance Film Festival. I have great memories talking to budding actors, film makers, and composers. everyone who was following their dreams. My favorites were the Pan Asian & South American, which I think they call World Cinema now. The midnight shows were always the best.


    1. Sundance, lucky you Nancy. I have heard about it a lot, and it must have been so interesting. I like world cinema too, movies from all over the world, and old classics, european and you name it. But never knew Morricone could be used for freestyle. Must admit me and my dog never tried.. 😉


  2. Il pezzo favorito e’ L’Estasi Dell’Oro, ma’ C’Era Una Volta Il West ranks a close secondo. Pero’, se devo scegliere one colonna sonora, I have to go with Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo.

    Non so’ perche’ hanno cambiato il titolo quando they translated to English, as I much prefer il titolo Italiano to switching the Bad and the Ugly..

    By the way, I like this version better:

    e, per forza:


    1. Italian, Disperser, impressive! And I have a feeling you didn’t even use google translate. You are right about both the two versions mentioned, they are great. I picked one because of the pictures. And one of the Morricone scores I also like a lot is sacco e vanzetti, but I haven’t seen the film, and it is not a Leone either.. But Il buono, il brutto e il cattivo definitely is, and good music too.


      1. I was born there, moved to the US when I was 13. I retain a relatively good command of the language (actual Italian; never learned any of the 20+ dialects). I do read and write Italian, but as languages evolve and change, I’m pretty sure I’m not up on all the latest vernacular.

        I do have a number of Italian books I like that I occasionally re-read, and my mother and I converse in Italian.

        Sacco and Vanzetti is one I’ve not seen either. I think I might have started it years ago, but did not finish it.


  3. Den bästa filmmusiken genom tiderna. Själv sà har jag bara träffat Sofia Coppola under filminspelningen av Marie-Antoinette här i Paris, jag är med som statist i den filmen. Det känns konstigt att se sig själv i en film…


  4. Once Upon A Time In The West is my favorite Leone film. Jill’s arrival by train and her ride out to the ranch… what is an amazing meeting of cinema and music. Thank you for reminding me.


  5. Ennio Morricone was a “grande maestro” indeed… 🙂

    Always enjoyed his music which created so many movies to be outstanding… 🙂

    When I hear his “For love one can die” I almost forget being a tough guy… ‘smile’


  6. It seems as if it was a very important moment in your life, sometimes meeting your heroes is dissapointing, I´sure you have chosen yours carefully as there is much admiration in your words. 🙂



  7. Once Upon a Time in the West is my favorite Western, too. As a child I was obsessed with that kind of movies. 😉 And of course the music was divine and I heard it very often (when I wasn’t exactly watched Western ;). It’s great that you met Sergio Leone and the other people. What a nice document this is.
    Ha en kjempefin ukestart.


  8. Unas muy sentidas palabras sobre gente de tu gusto, gusto compartidopor más personas, claro. Pero la fotos muy buenas y en especial se me destaca la calidad y resultado del retrato. Es excelente.
    Mi saludo.


  9. We tend to watch the spaghetti westerns regularly, love the music, but also love the graphics at the start of the film.

    My fave is For a Few Dollars more, but maybe because I like that film best out of the spag westerns. Lee Van Cleef was superb.

    Incidentally, Morricone sounds a bit like the spanish for gay – maricón. Don’t know what it is in Italian.


  10. I really enjoyed watching the video! :+) Perfect timing as I was just looking through my photo’s of people thinking about emotion and capturing emotion. Thank You perfect video perfect timing!


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